Mumbai High Court has ordered the IIT-Bombay to grant a Ph.D. degree to a research scholar immediately after submitting an apology letter to an assistant professor at the institute, who filed a complaint of sexual abuse against him last year. Last week, the High Court upheld the investigator, stating that he could express his views but could not make personal comments on the woman’s personality.
The petitioner, a research scholar studying for a Ph.D., completed his MPhil and was appointed as the Senior Research Scholar at the Institute. He is also allowed to stay in a hostel located on campus. The petitioner requested that his Ph.D. degree be withheld by the Institute and handed over to him.
On Tuesday, after informing the Mumbai High Court that the matter had been resolved, Justice SC’s trustee and Justice Gautam Patel’s petition bench petitioner sent an apology, which was accepted by the institute and assistant professor.
The bench said the institute’s degree should be issued immediately after the petitioner’s apology letter. Petitioner, in his letter of apology, stated that he had no intention of insulting any woman, much less, the Professor… (Assistant Professor).
According to the petition, in December 2017, posters with the slogan “Stop Hindutva Terrorism” were placed outside the boy’s hostel mess at the Institute. Petitioner, in an email to the Dean in April 2018, objected to the tone and speech of one of the professors accused of criticizing the Hindus.
Petitioner alleges that the female professor, through an email dated April 19, 2018, invited her to an informal meeting to discuss issues arising from the complaints and protests he had made. To this, the petitioner replied that she was a virtuous lady and that the petitioner had respect for virtuous women. He said he was not afraid to meet her.
In order to teach the petitioner a lesson, he alleged that the sexist comments on her were wrong and passionate.
The female professor complained of sexual harassment in the office and forwarded it to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). When the complaint was filed, the petitioner successfully attended his Ph.D. thesis in April 2018 for Viva-Vos.
The ICC Chairperson wrote an email to HSS HOD that the petitioner should suspend all permits pending trial. Following the hearing, the ICC found the merits in the complaint filed by a female professor last year and ordered the petitioner to apologize in a special manner and text prescribed by the ICC. He was ordered to attend a session on gender sensitivity.